The Forbidden City, located in in Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, is composed of more than 90 palace compounds, including 98 buildings, measuring 961 meters in length and 753 meters in width and surrounded by a moat as wide as 52 meters.
For more than 500 years, The Forbidden City was China’s political and ritual center. After its completion in 1420, during the Ming (1368–1644) and the Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, the Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors, their families and servants.
In 1925, when the district was transformed into the Palace Museum, the last occupant (who was also the last emperor of imperial China), Puyi (1906–67), was expelled. It remains one of the most important cultural heritage sites and the most visited museum in the People’s Republic of China, although it is no longer an imperial precinct, with an average of eighty thousand visitors every day.
Since the Forbidden City is a ceremonial, ritual and living space, in Confucian ideology, the architects who designed its layout followed the ideal cosmic order that had held together for centuries the Chinese social structure. This layout ensured that all operations within this micro-city were carried out in a manner appropriate to the social and family roles of the participants.
Depending on the characteristics of the events, all activities, such as imperial court ceremonies or life-cycle rituals, will take place in sophisticated palaces. Similarly, according to their positions within the imperial family, the court determined the occupants of the Forbidden City strictly.
Forbidden City is one of the most important historical sites in China and worldwide today and receives 80,000 visitors every day.